Preserving your bait and hooks

Bobby Gentry
Bobby Gentry

I support my family by working as a professional guide on Dale Hollow Lake (

I can't support them if I don't make a profit. Part of making a profit is using everything in my boat efficiently without sacrificing the quality of my client's catch.

One thing I do to save money is take care of my plastic baits and hooks. I get the most out of every bait and hook I purchase. An individual pack of either one doesn't cost much. But over the course of a season I'll go through hundreds of bags of plastics and hooks. The total cost mounts up. So does the savings.

Try these three cost cutting tricks this year:

1. Don't destroy plastic baits when you take them off the hook.


I see a lot of anglers who grab their plastics and rip them off the hook. There's no reason to do that if they haven't been damaged by fishing or fish. Gently pull the hook through the plastic and they'll be good to go for another day.

And don't throw all of your used worms or creature baits in the trash. The tails make excellent trailers on spinnerbaits or jigs. There's absolutely no reason to pinch a new worm or expensive creature bait in half to make a trailer.

Finally, some baits will bleed color and some won't. And some scents will cause otherwise stable baits to bleed. Store used baits in plastic bags or boxes by color.

Don't clip your line and toss a salt impregnated plastic to the bottom of your boat or put it in your tacklebox with the hook still in it. The salt will pit and corrode the hook. Once that happens there's nothing you can do to restore or repair it. It's useless. Always remove the hook before you put everything away.

Good hooks are expensive. This simple step — which takes only a few seconds to accomplish — will save you dozens of hooks over the course of a fishing season.

3. Dry and organize your hooks.

At the end of the day, take a few minutes to dry your hooks and put them back where they came from. I can't tell you how many anglers buy the same make and size hook over and over again because they either can't find the ones they already own or they don't know they own them to begin with. You may as well flush cash money down the toilet.

Being frugal isn't about being cheap. It's about being smart.